This tradition started 5 years ago when we moved into our new home in Brooklyn NY. The neighborhood wasn't very festive during the holidays. About 2 people put out decorations and it was usually a few strings of mini-lights. We decided to go all out and make it as fun and festive as possible. We build everything in the backyard and spend as little cash as possible. The first two years we focused on a Santa's Workshop theme. The next year we wanted to push the limits a little so we added the ability to control the lights and add music through an old computer. Each year we try to push ourselves a little further and we also change the theme. This year our theme is a 1950's Rock 'N Roll Christmas. We have now incorporated music, some of which my best friend Ryan wrote and recorded, singing all six parts himself, over 13,000 animated lights, scenery and props, and our newest additions an animatronic narrator. We built him (Walter) this summer. We also added video that we made. It is rear projected onto a $2 frosted shower curtain from a projector that I won on an auction site for $40 (New would have been a couple thousand dollars).
We are going to share some of our favorite "tricks" to make your very own light displays to wow your neighbors. Our neighbors look forward to the show each year and get nervous if they don't see us working on it. And now there are a great deal more Christmas lights being put out by the neighbors!
The following Instructable will explain how we build
1.) Frames for Rope Light Images and Text
2.) C9 Light Sticks
3.) Christmas Trees from recycled 45 Records
Step 1: How to Make Rope Light Frames
We came up with the idea of making these very simple and lightweight frames in order to make a train for our display the first year we started animating our display. The rope light decorations in the stores were so expensive and all very generic. This gave us a way to create whatever we want and we can customize it to any size we like. The options are virtually limitless.